Putting aside transfer window questions and how long Van Persie can carry a squad that’s becoming increasing bloated with prospects that haven’t quite panned out, Van Persie’s sublime first-time volley past Tim Howard was something out of a different match.
Off of a flighted delivery from Song at half field, Robin Van Persie’s right-footed finish just kissed off the far-post. Howard didn’t stand a chance.
The goal was the 28 year-old’s 33rd of the season, just one off from tying Thierry Henry’s record of 34 for a calendar year. However, it was one of those goals that, after having lifted the Emirates to its feet and sealing the win on the club’s 125th anniversary, leaves you wondering how much longer Arsene can continue to rely on the individual bits of craft being manufactured by his marquee.
Granted, Arsenal deserved to win the game. Everton clearly didn’t have enough going forward, but with 20 minutes remaining in regulation, David Moyes made the decision to stack his back-line, hunker down and cruise for the tie.
The way the game was going—Walcott having no luck down the right flank and Van Persie having one of his weaker performances—Arsenal looked like it was going to have to settle.
And then Song to Van Persie, and with Van Persie connecting—that was one for the highlight reel.
It’s probably tiring to hear the question. How long can Arsenal keep on this way, with one brilliant striker carrying a team that seems disjointed and out-of-step with each other? Yet, somehow, all of a sudden, things aren’t looking so bad.
After beating Chelsea 5-3 in one of the best matches of the season thus far and falling admirably 1-0 to Manchester City in the Carling Cup, Arsenal supporters are starting to get over the all-too-predictable losses of Fabregas and then Nasri.
They are instead looking to the dynamic play of Gervinho and even warming to the uncompromising play of Vermalen.
I can’t credit Wenger. Everyone knows he should be doing more in the way of attracting some talent, but something’s happening over in North London that’s keeping the Gunners’ heads above water and it’ll be interesting to see what Wenger’s ‘Bad News Bears’ will make of Man City.